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the quotations already made will sufficiently convince our readers that much entertainment is to be derived from it. We have still to regret, however, as formerly, chat Mr. Sonnini has occasionally entered into details of manners and customs, .&c. which are unfit for the eye of modesty : although he has conveyed his meaning in expressions as decorous, perhaps, as could be used *. A number of particulars in natural history are interspersed, with much greater propriety.
We had perused nearly the whole of these travels in a.copy of the original t, when the translation came to our hands. From this last we have made our extracts : which will afford ample specimens of the manner in which the translator has performed his duty.
The plates annexed to this volume are neatly engraven ; they consist of a general chart of the Levant; the Firman of the Sultan Abdul-Ahhmed, delivered to M. Sonnini; the spider-scorpion, in its natural size; serpents; three fish; and the dress of the women of the island of Argentiera.
Art. XIV. National Irrigation; or, the various Methods of Water.
ing Meadows; affording Means to increase the Population, Wealth and Revenue of the Kingdom, by an Agricultural, Commercial, and general Economy in the use of Water. By William Tatham, Author of the Political Economy of Inland Navigation I, an Historical Essay on the Culture and Commerce of Tobacco , &c.
8vo. Pp. 412. 8s. Boards. Carpenter. 1801. fire and water, though in themselves elements of tremend. T ous and destructive power, may be so managed and directed as to be rendered extremely subservient to the use and comfort of man. It seems to be a fixed decree of Providence that the improvement of the material world should depend on the combined efforts of human genius and labour, and that philosophy should be invoked for the amelioration of the blessings of Nature. By her aid, that which we should otherwise deplore as an evil is often converted into a benefit ; and that which one person rejects as a nuisance is caught and employed by another as a source of inestimable advantage. The element of water affords a continual illustration of the truth of this re. mark. Much more depends on its right management than is
* The translator has suppressed one of the plates; we suppose, from a motive of delicacy. We wish that he had also retrenched those parts of the narrative to which we object.
+ In two vols. 8vo. with a 4to. Atlas. Imported by De Boffe London, price il. 75. sewed.. 1 See M. R. N. S. vol. xxxiii.
g Ib. vol. xxxv. F 3
commonly imagined. Where it obtains the ascendency, it'is injurious to land, and ought to be drained off: but this same water may be often so diffused and apportioned over other grounds as to convert barrenness into fertility; and much of this Huid is no doubt suffered to run to waste, which, by judicious application, might constitute a fountain of riches : so that it is of great importance to the agriculturist to be water-wise. If this truth be admitted, some thanks are due to Mr. Tatham.; who labours with much apparent energy to instruct the public in this important science, and to exhibit it in all its parts and relations.
Irrigation seems to be with this writer a very favourite topic; and with the enthusiasm of a sublime projector, he delineates plans of future improvement, that are truly vast and romantic. Visionary schemes, however, when they are known to result from intense application to a darling theme, should not divert
us from availing ourselves of every rational and practicable sugVi gestion; and since there is, perhaps, (as Dr. James Anderson
has observed,) no beneficial practice in agriculture which has been so generally neglected in Great Britain as that of watering land,” we are rather inclined to be partial to a writer who strenuously recommends it. We therefore shall not renew our criticisms on the incorrectness of Mr. Tatham's style, which certainly requires a humble apology, though he expressly refuses to make any; nor will we omit to record his ideas, though we fear that but little practical advantage can be derived from some of them.
Mr. T. considers Great Britain, with all her advantages of climate and population, as not being within a thousand years of her zenith in agriculture and manufactures ; and in order to stimulate her to improvements of which he is persuaded she is capable, he places before her the antient and modern examples of Irrigation ; details the practices of Egypt, Spain, France, and America, as well as the progress which has been made in this useful art in several counties of England and Scotland; explains (with elucidating plates) the methods of raising water by the Noria, in Spain, and by the German lifting wheel in America; and brings together, in one view, from the agricultural Reports and other publications the several modes of applying water in irrigating meadows, and in creating a soil by what is termed warping. He observes, in his introduction, that
• The subject of warping, though somewhat new and local, will be found worthy observation; and I fiatter myself that this little book will prove the means of introducing it into many countries where it has never been, hcard of, and of stimulating the practice of
Hooding on such rivers as the Missisippi, where the richest particles of the soil have too long been permitted to waste with the unheeded decrease of inundations, naturally favourable to agriculture.
· The irrigations of the Nile, of Spain, and of France, afford many examples which deserve the notice of the nation and the prace tical farmer; while the English Counties, on the other hand, remunerate lessons to those who have taught them. None of them are without some peculiar point of instruction ; Lincolnshire affords examples for low and sunken grounds; Gloucester and Wiltshire, a complete system for level meadows in ordinary ; Cheshire, a singular method of procrastinating water on hilly lands; and Devonshire combines the watering of meadows with the means of conveying its produce.
I have paid but little attention to the head of objections against irrigation, because all which have occurred to me seem to be so futile as to need no extraordinary arguments to surmount them; and the results which are exhibited bear an unanimous testimony in their favour.
« The irrigation of Aberdeenshire has furnished a new discovery of no small importance: it has proved to us that heath may be changed into grass by the mere act of simple irrigation; and it leads to a mode of levelling which deserves the national care."
Not contented with inviting private, individuals to acts of local improvement, Mr. T. addresses himself to the statesman: hoping to fix his attention on a vast plan of national irrigation ; by which, he flatters himself, the national income, and in course the revenue of the state, may be greatly augmented. He proposes that government should take into their own hands the construction of one grand national water-work, for the purpose of elevating a sufficient supply of fresh and salt water from the most convenient waters below, to the most elevated hills, mountains, and peaks, so as to form spacious reservoirs in the coves of these sterile regions; and that a grand communication, by mains, pipes, and canals, should be formed from one hill or eminence to another, through all the dividing ridges which separate the principal waters and rivers of the kingdom. By the execution of this great work, it is proposed regularly to distribute a due proportion of water into every acre in the island ; and that the reader may be convinced of the practicability of the scheme, Mr. Tatham has undertaken to calculate (the power and expence of constructing a national irrigation, and of communicating a regulating main throughout the kingdom of England, to be fed wholly from the lower level of the tide, lakes, and rivers, by means of machinery,'-As this is the prominent feature of the work, and as the proposition has at least, we believe, the merit of novelty, we sball extract the whole of this curious section :
By the engine employed in the Shadwell water-works the water is raised ninety feet; its pump-barrel is twelve inches; and twenty, two strokes, of six feet each, are performed in one minute.
• The cost of this engine is estimated at two thousand pounds ; and its consumption of coals at two bushels per hour.
Now, as I have fixed the mean perpendicular height of the pro. posed national reservoirs at nine hundred feet elevation above the lower level, I will first endeavour to calculate the expence of com. manding so much water at pleasure, for the support of a regulating main ; and of distribaiting its influence, from the reservoirs, through every part of the kingdom.
As the surplusage of one such main, confined merely to the demands of irrigation, when the drought of the season may happen to exhaust the due proportion of humidity, would probably be of sufficient importance in itself; and more particularly as any greater demand for canals, factories, mills, fishponds, cascades, pleasure fountains, &c. will carry with it an increase of income to the water works, from whence they will necessarily draw an accumulated profit sufficient to justify additional pipes : it will suffice that we take this limitation of the subject as an ample basis for every further extent of it.
• It should be held as an invariable rule in the general practice of raising water, or boats, in hydraulic operations, that where the rise or fall can be brought to one single rise or fall of the land which divides the higher and lower levels of a country, the work for doing this should never be divided; for it is plain that every repetition of such a transfer must repeat a great proportion of the machinery or lockage as often as the operation is to be repeated ; besides the in. crease of attendants, and delays of repeating process. In theoretic calculations it is, however, of some importance, for the reasons before assigned, to estimate repeated, perhaps unnecessary operations.
- Hence, as Shadwell engine' raises its water ninety feet, at a known expence, I will allow ten such engines to reach nine hundred feet elevation in the proposed national wnter works ; and one grand reservoir, besides a set of regulating basins, to equal eách twenty five miles of main, throughout the fifteen hundred miles that I have proposed the extension of national mains, from Scotland to Corn. wall.
• Of the Expence.- According to the foregoing premises it will be perceived, that six hundred steam engines, of the value of one million iwo hundred thousand poands, consuming two bushels of coals cach per hour, amounting to four thousand eight hundred and sixty-six and two-thirds chaldrons of coals for each ten engines ; or two hundred and fifty two thousand chaldrons, per annum, for the whole kingdom, will be demanded; which, at the good average price of forty shillings per chaldron, would be five hundred and four thousand pounds for fuel... : . There will be a demand of eighteen thousand yards of elevating main, to raise the water from the lower level to sixty grand reservoirs,
each nine hundred feet above that level; this item, say, at two hundred weight of cast iron to each yard of twelve inch pipe, and five-eight metal, (which will easily bear a hundred feet column of water,) amounts, at fourteen shillings per hundred weight, to the sum of twenty five thousand two hundred pounds.
· Wooden pipes, cartage, laying down, extra charges, &c. inclu. sive, for fifteen hundred miles of regulating main, at twenty shillings, per yard, will amount to two million six hundred and forty thou. sand pounds. Say for sixty grand reservoirs, at two thousand pounds each, one hundred and twenty thousand pounds; and one hundred thousand more for regulating basins, buildings, &c.
• Thus the aggregate cost of construction may be stated as follows : 600 Steam engines, each 2000l.
£.1,200,000 1800 Yards of elevating mains
25,000 1500 Miles of regulating mains
2,640,000 60 Grand reservoirs, each 2000l.
120,000 Regulating basins .
100,000 Allow largely for contingencies
915,000 Total cost, £.5,000,000
" It follows to, state the interest for which this sum may be ob. rained on so eligible a security: and to add the yearly charges which are attached, before the probable hallance of national gain can be ascertained or remunerated : and, as the government are all compe. tent to regulate the rate of interest, I will suppose the sum of ten per cent. per annan to be sufficient inducement. Hence the following will be approximate to.
The annual expence, Loan of five millions, obtained at ten per cent. interest £.500,000 Consumption of 250,000 chaldrons of coals, at 4os. per chaldron :
504,000 soo Superintendants of different descriptions, averaging 200l. inclusive
100,000 Wear and tear, disappointments, casualties, new works, and contingencies
- 396,000 Total of annual charges, 2.1,500,000
This annual expence will, I apprehend, be sufficiently powerful to govern the temperature of the seasons, and to direct elementary blessings into the coffers of the kingdom, if it should be thought proper to execute the work for public account and risque, by means of monies to be loaned on the faith of this great improve. ment.'
Having satisfied himself respecting the practicability of this plan, the author proceeds at some length to display its advan